Anika Tabassum Mohona
Bangladesh is a secular country that permits individuals of privilege to participate in a variety of festivals throughout the year. Festivals are a source of enormous delight and satisfaction for everyone involved. While attending festivals, it is not uncommon to see trucks, pick-up vans, and other local cars completely filled with young males who are dancing about and singing along with the tunes blasting from their speakers. During the festivals, they enjoy it as a source of entertainment. They like roaming about on the highways and taking advantage of the opportunity. Once again, they are often intoxicated. Their body language seems to be out of the ordinary as well.
Sometimes they cross the boundaries. They will often commit crimes such as eve-teasing the women they find around them. This undoubtedly has a great impact. The festival, in that sense, does not bring joy and happiness to the girls, who are the ultimate sufferers. On this Eid, a group of boys designing “I am single” on their tee-shirts were seen on the roads dancing on the local vehicles in full volume. In some places, the administration took praiseworthy initiatives in handling that situation. All such boys were instantly stopped from doing such activities, and their vehicles were instantly seized as soon as they came before the eyes of the administration. They were also barred from entering the area of Pouroshova at some places for doing such activities.
Loud music amounts to public nuisance whereas eve-teasing amounts to a crime under Section 509 of the Penal Code, 1860, for which the punishment is a jail for one year or a fine of a maximum of two thousand or both. Section 510 of the Penal Code, 1860, states that misconduct in public by a drunken person provides the punishment with simple imprisonment for a term, not more than twenty-four hours or with a fine, not more than ten takas or with both. The young are the future of our country. Mischief at a young age is a very normal thing. But such criminal and reckless behaviour obviously do not seem to keep them on the right path and teaching.
Hence, the dark sides of such activities need to be promulgated at large. The responsible authorities, such as the MP, Mayors, Upazilla Chairman, and Councilors, need to have a better focus on these so that they can be eradicated from the very beginning. To demotivate these illegal activities, the responsible parties may organise various cultural programmes in which the youth may freely participate based on their own interests. Stadiums and parks can be made free and open to all.
Bangladesh is a place where people admire their culture and loves reflecting on them in every aspect. In that place, such adoption in the behaviour of the youngsters signifies degeneracy of culture where after years if such activities continue, it will be ultimately considered normal to the youngsters and will be adapted to the society as a normal social practice which will not bring goodwill for a civilized society. This will ultimately help to sustain our culture and at the same time, keep the youngsters on track putting them far away from all such bad practices which lead to unlawful activities. Therefore, the social problem that has arisen is not impossible to dissolve. The right initiatives by the right authorities lay down the possibilities to save youngsters and hence, the society and culture.
(The author Anika Tabassum Mohona is a student of the Department of Law & Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific)